In Arizona, the auto accident settlement process follows a mostly logical path. Still, if you’re considering further legal action for an accident you were involved in, it’s worth some of the basic details about what you’ll encounter along the way.
Reporting An Auto Accident in Arizona
Surprisingly, Arizona doesn’t require private citizens to report auto accidents, but law enforcement officers are required to report any incident that results in injury, death, the issuance of a citation, or property damage of more than $1,000. In cases where one of those circumstances apply, all involved in the incident must stay at the scene until police arrive. If they don’t, they could be subject to a driver’s license suspension and a Grade 2 or 3 felony.
Filing with Insurance
Arizona is an “at-fault” state meaning that the person responsible for the accident is liable for the resulting damages. Establishing this fault isn’t always clear, but when it is, you should:
- File a claim with your own insurance company
- File a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company (or multiple companies)
- Do not speak with anyone on the record about the incident
- Consider additional legal options only after speaking with a qualified personal injury attorney
Settlement Vs. Trial After An Arizona Auto Accident
If you’re potentially owed compensation for damages, you’ll likely receive an early settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Before that offer arrives, you should get an official medical evaluation if you notice even minor physical or emotional trauma resulting from the accident. Whether you’re considering a lawsuit or not, it’s vital to have proper documentation of all aspects of the incident, including your recovery.
An attorney can help draft your formal demand letter, which will state your claim, clearly identify any injuries (based on the documentation mentioned above), and spell out the damages you’d like to recover. A good demand letter could warrant a higher settlement and keep litigation from proceeding any further.
If the opposing party doesn’t agree with the extent of your injuries, they may have their own evaluation done before an adjusted settlement offer is presented. If an agreement still can’t be reached, then your case would move to civil court, and you’d absolutely want an experienced auto accident attorney on your side.
The team at Rabb & Rabb, PLLC has more than a decade of experience helping Arizona clients understand the settlement process as aggressive advocates while working on favorable and speedy resolutions. Call (520) 888-6740 today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.